Disclaimer: I am not the creator or owner of Criminal Minds and/or the characters therein. I have no legal rights or financial interest in any of it.
Two to the Chest
There was the sound of Velcro pulling and the sound of clips sliding into handguns.
Morgan, Prentiss and JJ were in place at the front door of the unsub's home. This place should be condemned! How tall is that grass? Three feet easy, thought Reid as he circled around to the back door of the house with Hotch and Rossi. Local law enforcement was acting as back-up. Morgan gave the count and he and Hotch simultaneously kicked the doors in. Then Morgan heard shots fired, and his heart stopped.
While Morgan and Hotch were kicking down doors, Reid caught a glimpse of something in the yard reflecting in a window. Acting on instinct, for once, he spun around, planted his feet, aimed his gun and yelled "FBI! Drop your weapon!" The unsub had his own gun pointed back at Reid. According to the profile, he would not surrender. He didn't drop his gun and Reid fired two rounds from his own without hesitation. The unsub went down into the tall grass. Rossi and Hotch had reemerged from the house and the three men proceeded into the jungle, guns still drawn, to where the unsub had fallen. As they approached the body, Rossi retrieved the unsub's gun. Reid kept his gun trained on the unsub while Hotch felt for a pulse. There wasn't one. Local law enforcement moved in and as the three agents walked back toward the house Rossi patted Reid on the back, telling him what a good job he had done.
When Morgan heard the shots, his heart stopped and he could only think of Reid. Kevlar vests left a lot to be desired and there were plenty of other places on the body for a bullet to enter and do damage. He began to run through the house, ignoring that it hadn't been cleared. JJ and Emily tried to stop him, but to no avail. He had to know. Seconds seemed like hours as he made his way through the home to the back entrance. He stepped out of the house and felt a wave of relief wash over him as he saw Reid walking beside Hotch and Rossi. He tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to not run to his best friend. He holstered his gun and wrapped his arms around Reid, hugging him tightly. Reid couldn't really hug back because Morgan's embrace had his arms pinned to his sides.
"When I heard the shots, I was so afraid . . ." Morgan whispered.
"It's okay, I'm okay," Reid replied. "There's not a single scratch on me." Morgan relaxed his grip, suddenly fighting the urge to kiss Reid on the forehead. The genius snaked his arm around the strong man, hugging him back, trying to allay his worries. "I probably have to go fill out paperwork, it being my shoot and all." Morgan pulled back and smiled at Reid.
"Your shoot, huh?"
"Yeah. As you and Hotch were taking the doors I saw a reflection of something in one of the windows. I spun around and it was the unsub. I identified myself and ordered him to drop his weapon, he didn't of course, so I shot. Based on the profile, I didn't have much of a choice." Morgan wrapped his arm around Reid's shoulders as they began to walk toward their team.
"You did the right thing kid. I'm proud of you."
"Where'd you hit him?"
"Two to the chest; he'll be leaving in a body bag."
"I know you hate having to do that, but good job Reid. You did a damn good job," Morgan remarked giving his shoulder a squeeze, once again fighting the annoying, persistent urge to kiss him.
"Thanks. But really, I just wasn't in the mood to take a bullet today," joked Reid sardonically. Morgan laughed and ruffled his hair.
The team had been watching the affectionate exchange between the two men. "They have such a cute bromance going," commented JJ.
"Are you sure it's just a bromance?" replied Emily.
"What the hell is a bromance?" asked Hotch and Rossi in unison.
Even though they were flying back to Quantico in the middle of the day most of the team members were asleep on the jet due to sleep deprivation. Emily was not, however, and she sought out Morgan who, of course, was next to Reid. Morgan's eyes were closed, and his headphones on but she tapped his arm gently suspecting he was awake. His eyes popped open and she motioned for him to join her by the coffee pot, away from the rest of the team.
"So what's up?" asked Prentiss.
"I don't know Emily, you tell me. You're the one who convened this little meeting."
"I mean with you and Reid. Is there something going on between you two?"
"What?! No, of course not. Why would you even ask that?"
"Oh, I don't know, because you ignored orders to clear the house of a suspect when you heard gunfire and thought Reid could be injured. JJ and I care about him too, but that was more than friendly concern Morgan. I'm not trying to put you on the spot but that was a dangerous decision you made today and I just need to know where your head is at."
"I don't know Emily. I mean yes, when I heard the gun shots all I could think about was Reid, but I don't know why. But you're right; I made a poor decision."
"Morgan," Emily prodded gently, not wanting to invoke his temper, "have you ever been attracted to another man? We don't have to talk about this if you don't want to, but I think that you should talk it out with someone." Morgan could hear the sincerity in her voice and see it in her eyes.
"I don't know. I mean, I grew up in a rough neighborhood where that just wasn't acceptable, and played sports and it wasn't acceptable, and then I went into local law enforcement where it was also unacceptable and so it just wasn't an option in my mind."
"The fact that you thought about whether it was an option though, that probably says something." Morgan nodded, mulling over Emily's words.
"And you think I'm attracted to Reid and just don't realize it or something?"
"I think that somewhere along the way you went from loving Reid as your best friend to being in love with Reid and you didn't even know it was happening. If you could see, how you look at him . . ."
"And how does Reid look at me?"
"Pretty much the same way. But sometimes there's pain in Reid's eyes too, because he thinks you're straight and that he can't ever have you. That's another reason I'm having this discussion with you. If you feel something, you'll have to make the first move, because he's watched you chase after women, and women alone, for too many years to ever make his move. But I guarantee you that if you do have feelings for him you won't be rejected."
"So, wait, is Reid-"
"Reid's sexuality is . . . fluid." Emily had cut Morgan off when she heard the confusion in his voice.
"Hmmph." What the hell is fluid sexuality? What the hell does that even mean?
"Just think about things, okay?"
"Yeah Em, I will." They returned to their seats and Morgan put his headphones back on and shut his eyes. He thought about Reid. When I heard those shots this morning, all I could think of was Reid. Why is that? He's my best friend, of course. And I love him as a friend, no doubt. But I had to the urge to kiss him today . . . on the forehead anyhow . . . And we do spend a lot of time together. What do the girls call it? A bromance. And I haven't pursued any women in a while now that I'm thinking about it. Although it's not like we have a lot of free time. But when there's a new restaurant I want to try, I ask Reid to go with me. And when we go to a bar or a club I sit there and talk with Reid unless Prentiss, JJ or Penelope ask me to dance with them. I'd rather talk to Reid than have some anonymous female dancing on top of me. That MUST mean something. And he's been learning football, probably for me. And Clooney loves him. But am I attracted to him? At this point, Morgan opened his eyes and took a long look at his friend, still fast asleep. He really is pretty. Pretty's not even a strong enough adjective. He's beautiful. I already know I love his hair; I run my fingers through it any chance I get. He's sleeping, so I can't see his eyes, but I know they are beautiful. His lips . . . they look very soft and kissable. It's that damn chapstick he's always using. And his body . . . he's been filling out a little more lately, definitely across his chest and shoulders. His clothes have been fitting him better, that's for sure. And even though he still wears his damn vests, these ones are different, less geeky and more stylish. He's definitely putting more time into his appearance. Is that for my benefit? Why do I even notice these things? And his hands . . . I bet those long, thin fingers would feel great . . .
Morgan was brought out of his reverie when the pilot announced their descent. He gently nudged Reid, waking him. The team shuffled into the office to do their paperwork. Hotch had cut them a deal; if they all got their paperwork turned in that evening, they could take the next day off. This was particularly appealing since they had worked through the weekend. Reid's paperwork took him longer than usual due to the fact that he had been the shooter and there were extra forms to fill out. He still managed to finish before Morgan, so he joined him in his office and read a book while Morgan finished. As they walked his paperwork to Hotch, Morgan asked Reid if he wanted to grab dinner together.
"How about we just get some takeout?"
"You know what, that sounds even better," concurred Morgan. Hotch raised his eyebrows when he saw Reid waiting outside his office for Morgan – he was ordering dinner – but said nothing. As they climbed into Morgan's truck he asked if Reid minded if they went back to his house so that he could take care of Clooney. Of course, that was okay with Reid.
"Do we need to call and order from somewhere?" Morgan asked as he swiped his parking pass to exit the garage.
"No. I already called Chen's and ordered. By the time we're there, it should be ready." Morgan smiled at the fact that Reid had ordered Chinese, his favorite, from his favorite restaurant, which was only a couple blocks from his home. He had no doubt that Reid had got his order right.
"Thank you. You didn't have to get Chinese though, I know it's not your favorite."
"No, but it's yours, and I do like it. Besides, I know you have real cutlery at your house." Morgan chuckled at Reid's reference to his inability to use chopsticks.
They had finished eating and were watching a movie when Clooney hopped onto the couch, forcing them to move closer together in order to accommodate the dog. Morgan felt nervous at Reid's closeness even though he knew what Emily had said was true and that Reid would never make a move. Why am I nervous? Do I maybe want to? I know Reid is attractive, but I don't know if I'm sexually attracted to him. I think if I kissed him, I would know; I wouldn't be able to lie to myself about it if I felt something then. But what if I don't? I don't want to hurt Reid's feelings. Shit.
When the movie was over Morgan asked Reid if he wanted to stay and watch another. To Reid, there was no such thing as spending too much time with Morgan, so he agreed. They were only a third of the way through the movie when Reid began to doze off. He doesn't look particularly comfortable in-between me and Clooney. Probably because he doesn't want to get too close to me and make me uncomfortable or something like that. Morgan felt the nervousness again as he reached out his left arm and wrapped it around Reid's shoulders. Why is this making me nervous? I put my arm around him on a daily basis! Who the hell am I kidding? This is different and I know it. He moved slightly toward Reid and pulled Reid toward him until his head was resting on his shoulder. This, this feels right for whatever reason. Maybe Emily's right, maybe I just need to allow myself to feel feelings that are already there, that I've just been suppressing. Morgan woke up when the music blared and the credits started rolling. At some point Reid's left arm had made its way across Morgan's torso. He hated to wake the sleeping genius but knew they would regret sleeping on the couch all night the next day when their bodies were aching. He tried to move Reid's arm, but Reid had formed a fist around his shirt, holding onto him. Morgan smiled and gently woke the genius who jumped a mile in the air when he realized he was laying half on top of Morgan.
"I'm so sorry; I should go," he mumbled, rubbing his eyes.
"No way, pretty boy," Morgan yawned, exaggerating for effect. "I'm too tired to drive you home. We don't have to work tomorrow; just stay here." Reid looked uncomfortable at the prospect and stared at the couch. Morgan turned to look and saw that Clooney was now in the center of the couch, spread as far as possible. Morgan laughed to himself. I'll have to tell Emily she has a partner in matchmaking. "Look, we can share my bed. We've done it before when travelling for work, we can do it again." Reid, not really having any control over the outcome of the situation, reluctantly agreed and got something to sleep in from his go bag. When they got into bed, Reid stayed on the far edge of his side. Morgan shook his head.
"C'mere Reid. Meet me in the middle." A very confused Reid rolled over to the center of the bed. He decided he must be dreaming when Morgan wrapped his arms around him. "I was so scared today," he murmured, "when I heard the shots. I was so afraid you were going to be hurt."
"But I'm not," Reid mumbled sleepily.
"I know, I know. And that's good, because I don't know what I would do without you." Reid's eyelids were too heavy and his eyes were closed, but he smiled at Morgan as he drifted off to sleep.
Reid was still half asleep when he awoke the following morning. He felt a warm body next to him, holding him. He opened his eyes and jolted awake when he saw and remembered that the warm body belonged to Derek Morgan. He tried to untangle himself from Morgan but failed miserably as his friend just held onto him tighter.
"Where you goin'?" Morgan mumbled without opening his eyes.
"I, uh, don't know."
"Well then stop squirming. I'm trying to hold you and sleep and you're making it difficult."
"Sorry," replied Reid. "I didn't realize that you wanted to be holding me."
"Wouldn't do it if I didn't want to," remarked Morgan still fuzzy from sleep. "This is the best sleep I've gotten in ages; we should do this all the time." He didn't realize what he had said until it was too late. He opened his eyes to see a very surprised Reid.
"You- would- would you want to do this all the time?" Reid asked incredulously. Morgan leaned over and kissed Reid; it was the moment of truth as far as he was concerned, and Reid passed the test.
"Yeah, I think I would," Morgan said, leaning in to kiss Reid again. He had butterflies in his stomach and his body was on fire. Prentiss was right. THIS is right.
"Are you sure I'm not dreaming?" Reid inquired. He still couldn't wrap his big brain around what was happening. Morgan chuckled and he reached out to brush Reid's hair out of his face.
"It's not a dream. It's very real. And you can thank Prentiss because she pointed out to me the feelings I didn't even know I had." Reid leaned in and kissed Morgan. They lay there, the kisses getting longer and deeper until Clooney jumped on the bed.
"Sorry, he wants breakfast."
"That's okay," smiled Reid, "I understand."
"You wanna take him on a W-A-L-K with me after he eats?"